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Numbers Part 13: Big Banks

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According to Indian student Amit Soni, who shares a lot of good presentations about Indian banks on Slideshare, India has 88 commercial banks with 53,000 branches and 17,000 ATMs.

The State Bank of India (SBI) is shaking these things up by distributing over 11,000 new ATMs this year, bringing their total number to 25,000. I discovered this after making a presentation recently to the bank, one of India’s oldest banks tracing its origins back to June 1806 as the Bank of Calcutta.

25,000 ATMs is more than any other Indian bank, and gives them the density and coverage that their 16,000 branches can only just reach. Mind you, they do have an alliance with the India Post which adds over 150,000 post office branches.

All in all, this network allows their 205,000 staff to serve their 120 million customers …

These are the numbers that were bandied about by the guys from the bank who I met recently.

Quite stunning numbers aren’t they?

After all, the typical UK bank has 2,000 branches and 6,000 ATMs, with the largest bank now approaching 30 million customers …

These numbers are nothing compared to ICBC (the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) however.

ICBC have an impressive 385,000 employees, 16,386 branches, 190 million customers and 3.1 million corporate clients.

Who’s the daddy?

It reminds me of a visit to China a decade ago to meet the Bank of China in Beijing. To this day, I can remember asking how many staff worked at the bank and the senior exec there said: “30,000”.

“Wow”, I said. “I thought you were bigger than that!”

“Oh”, he replied. “I see. We are. We have 300,000 staff. I thought you meant this branch.”


The last Numbers Post was on Remittances.

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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